More than just a Run


Photo by Lions Roar Alumni

English teacher Kate Fletcher starts her run to the Capital; Richmond, Virginia in the 2020 Lion Pride Run.

Julia Gibson, Reporter/Photographer

  English teacher Kate Fletcher started the Fletcher run in 2016. She has been doing it every year since, not including the past two years due to Covid-19. Fletcher originally got her inspiration for the run from her students.

  “I taught a class with kids who really struggled with reading and writing,” Fletcher said. “I actually had one girl in particular who took that test multiple times. When she finally passed it, it took her just about 12 hours, and I thought to myself, you just did something really hard, uncomfortable, and boring. You overcame all kinds of obstacles, because this was not something that came easily to you. I was so impressed and blown away by how hard she was willing to work. I thought, what could I do that would match that? Then I thought, running is boring and uncomfortable, and full of challenges and obstacles. It would take a lot of hard work to go far with it, so that’s how I became a runner.” 

  The planning for the run is done by the LCHS Leadership class and the day police officers from Louisa. 

  “The Louisa Sheriff’s department gives me an escort. They’ve done that every time I’ve gone off course and it’s huge to get an escort like that, and very generous,” Fletcher said.

  The escorts provided by the Louisa Sheriff’s department means so much to Fletcher and the support she receives helps encourage each student to strive to get sponsorships.

  “Sometimes, I feel if we don’t find a business that wants to donate, then you have to find somebody else to sponsor,” senior Willie Page said.

  The fundraising money earned goes towards the Louisa community. 

  “The money goes to a few different places,we donate some of it, then some goes to the LCHS Leadership and Newspaper classes,” Fletcher said. “Primarily the money goes towards scholarships for students who have also done what the run symbolizes. It provides students who have overcome obstacles, students who’ve gone the distance, despite challenges in their life. This ends up meaning that we give this scholarship to students who may not always be seen as a candidate for a scholarship.”

  Each person plays a big role, whether it’s planning the run or helping it to function correctly on the day. Students reach out to businesses to get sponsorships before the run and ask for their support on the day of it. “I don’t understand it because any of these people, leadership kids, the teachers here, or the sheriff’s department could doubt me and it would make sense that they would but no one has ever doubted me in any obvious way. They’ve just been nothing but supportive,” Fletcher said.

  Motivation keeps Fletcher going through her run; her students and her community inspire her to get to her final goal.

  “What ultimately pushes me through is that I’m doing it for something much bigger than myself. My body will get very, very tired and it will hurt. My brain will get freaked out, but I’m doing it for something bigger than my body and bigger than my brain,” Fletcher said.